Photographing firework shows isn’t something I get to do everyday so when the opportunity comes around I always like to review the basics of how to photograph fireworks.
So here we go again with our nearly-yearly review…
- Shoot in manual mode.
- Shoot with a fairly wide lens. In past years I’ve use something around 28mm most of the time.
- Switch your lens to manual focus and set it at infinity.
- Set your ISO low; I like mine at 100 or 200 for this job.
- Set your aperture between f/11 to f/16.
- I like to set my shutter to Bulb mode and shoot exposures from 1/2 a second to 4 seconds. But experiment with much longer exposures by using a baseball cap to cover the lens between blasts. With practice you can capture more than one blast in a single image. Just don’t bump the camera!
- Make sure you have securely attached your camera to a sturdy tripod.
- Use a shutter release cable to avoid moving the camera when you press the shutter button.
- If your camera has a long exposure noise reduction setting in the menu; use it! It helps.
- Give your lens a good cleaning before you head out. There will be enough smoke and dust in the air you want to start with nice clean glass.
- Pack extra batteries, a small flashlight, a comfy folding chair or a nice big blanket, a cold drink, and insect repellent!